Monday, October 28, 2013

All Hallows Eve (Halloween)

In the Catholic blogosphere there seems to be two minds regarding the proper celebration of Halloween by Catholics.

In one corner we have Catholics arguing for kids trick-or-treating as all manner of ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. This position is best summed by by Dr. Taylor Marshall thus...

"Don’t be turned off by the ghoulish-ness of Halloween. Every great Catholic cathedral has gargoyles carved into its stone work. Illuminated manuscripts are also full of ghouls in the margins. Catholics are into this kind of stuff. Why? Because Christ has conquered death and the devil. After Christ, death has lost its sting." (read the rest of his argument THERE).

The other side of the debate is best captured in the following meme...

So, which is the "faithful" Catholic position? Should we, who seek to be saints, send our kids out as devils or ought they to dress as St. Patrick or Mother Teresa?

Perhaps, we ought to heed the advice of a soon-to-be canonized Saint, Pope John XXIII, "in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" - "in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity." (Ad Petri Cathedram, 72)

Instead of debating people online over something where faithful Catholics are at liberty to disagree, let your youngster decide for himself. Just make sure he understands why we celebrate the Eve of All Hallows - to honor our Catholic forefathers that fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith until the end (cf. 2 Tim 4:7). More importantly still, make sure you don't miss Mass on November 1 (All Saint's Day is a Holy Day of Obligation).

Oh, and don't celebrate a generic (and secular) "fall festival" or, worse yet, "Reformation Day!" These celebrations grew out of a decidedly anti-Catholic misreading of the history of Halloween.

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